'Our Finest Hour': Remembering Apollo 13, 50 Years On (Part 4)

Apollo 13 back on Earth. Photo: NASA

By the middle of April 1970, Project Apollo—America’s effort to land a man on the lunar surface—had reached one of its most decisive points of crisis. As described in last weekend’s AmericaSpace history feature, an explosion rocked the Apollo 13 spacecraft, halfway to the Moon, destroying one […]

'Bored to Tears': Remembering Apollo 13, 50 Years On (Part 1)

Apollo 13’s Latin motto of “Ex Luna, Scientia” (“From the Moon, Knowledge”) highlighted this mission as a voyage of exploration and scientific endeavor. Image Credit: NASA

By the spring of 1970, six months had passed since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin triumphantly fulfilled President John F. Kennedy’s pledge to land a man on the […]

'The Eagle Has Landed': Celebrating Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Month (Part 3)

Perspective of humanity’s first naked-eye view of the lunar surface at the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, 50 years ago, this week. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this weekend, on Sunday, 20 July 1969, the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC)—later to become the Johnson Space Center (JSC)—in Houston, […]

Remembering John Young, an 'Astronaut's Astronaut', Gone at Age 87

Apollo 16 Commander John Young gazes across the rugged terrain during humanity’s fifth piloted lunar landing. Photo Credit: NASA

John Young, one of only 12 humans to have walked the dusty surface of the Moon, one of only three of mankind’s sons to have traveled twice to lunar distance, the only astronaut to […]

Intruders in a Foreign Land: 45 Years Since Apollo 16 Almost Didn't Land on the Moon (Part 2)

Apollo 16 Commander John Young salutes the American flag on the surface of the moon. Photo Credit: NASA/Charles Duke

Apollo 16 Commander John Young salutes the American flag on the surface of the moon. Photo Credit: NASA/Charles Duke

Forty-five years ago, this week, Apollo 16 landed late on the surface of the Moon…and a carefully choreographed flight plan was instantly thrown into disarray. As outlined in yesterday’s AmericaSpace history article, a problem […]

Billy Rubin and Typhoid Mary: 45 Years Since Apollo 16 Almost Didn't Land on the Moon (Part 1)

Apollo 16 Commander John Young gazes across the rugged terrain during humanity’s fifth piloted lunar landing. Two days before this photograph was taken, the chances of Young and Charlie Duke landing on the Moon at all quite literally hung by a thread. Photo Credit: NASA

For anyone born within the last five decades, […]

Sleeping On Alien Shores: The Unquiet Slumbers of the Apollo Moonwalkers

Covered in lunar grime, and clad only in his water-cooled underwear, Gene Cernan manages a grin for Jack Schmitt’s camera, aboard the Lunar Module (LM) Challenger during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. The astronauts’ space suits can be seen, stashed at the back of the cramped cabin. Above the helmets can […]

'Like a Game of Solitaire': 45 Years Since the Lost Moonwalks of Apollo 13

Artist’s concept of Apollo 13 astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise exploring Fra Mauro. The Lunar Module (LM) Aquarius is visible in the background. Image Credit: Teledyne Brown

Had the cruelty of fate not intervened, 45 years ago, today—on 16 April 1970—the fifth and sixth humans ever to set foot on another world […]

'Bored to Tears': 45 Years Since the Unlucky Voyage of Apollo 13 (Part 1)

Apollo 13’s Jim Lovell and Fred Haise discuss their April 1970 ordeal during last month’s 45th anniversary commemorative event at San Diego Air & Space Museum. Photo Credit: Robert C. Fisher / AmericaSpace

By the spring of 1970, six months had passed since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin triumphantly fulfilled President John F. […]

Walking on an Alien World: The First 50 Years of Spacewalking (Part 2)

A mere four years after humanity’s first spacewalk, EVA and space suit technology advanced sufficiently to permit Neil Armstrong’s historic first steps on the Moon. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, yesterday, on 18 March 1965, humanity became an “extravehicular” spacefaring civilization for the first time, when 30-year-old Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov ventured […]